Ag News

USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced the availability of about $9 million in assistance for minority farmers and ranchers and military veterans who are new to farming and ranching. The funding enables community-based organizations to work with these groups to acquire and operate farms and ranches and to take advantage of USDA programs. At the Champions of Change event today celebrating the next generation of America’s farmers and ranchers, Harden said that the partnerships will build a stronger agricultural future for the country and for the world. The 2501 Program, as it’s known, has distributed over $57 million to 188 partners since...
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The U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia upheld mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) for meat and meat products.  The 9-2 decision supports an earlier appellate court ruling which determined that labeling was needed to prevent deception.  Judge Stephen Williams cited consumer interest and health concerns, saying the government’s interest in country-of-origin labeling for food make the interest substantial. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson called the decision a victory in the battle to uphold the enforcement of the COOL regulation.  He says that American consumers want to know where their meat comes from, and livestock producers, proud...
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Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling, in “Turnaround Tuesday” type activity. There are some weather concerns and the condition rating declined over the past week, but the trade continues to expect a big crop. Also, forecasts for the coming week do have a little more precipitation than what we saw on Monday. Demand is solid, with unknown buying 135,000 tons of new crop meal. Soybean meal and oil were lower, following beans. Corn was lower on fund and technical selling, in addition to spillover from beans. Crop development is just ahead of average and unless the crop deteriorates drastically,...
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New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra has reduced its forecast farmgate milk price for the 2014/15 season from $7 (NZ) to $6 (NZ) per kilogram of milk solids.  The cut translates into about a $1.6 billion reduction from the co-op’s earlier prediction and around $4 billion less in total farm income compared to last year. Fonterra Chairman John Wilson says the cut reflects the continuing volatility in the world market with the Global Dairy Trade price index dropping 16 percent since June 1st.  Wilson cites the build-up of inventory in China, reduced demand in developing countries due to higher prices and the...
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Ag News - Rural Issues

One of the speakers at the summer meeting of the U.S. Grains Council in Omaha was Hasan Hyder, assistant vice president for grain and grain products with Union Pacific Railroad.  Hyder says UP is ramping up in preparation for another big grain harvest this fall.  By the end of the year, he says, the railroad will have over 1,500 additional...Read the full story... »     
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Issues related to China’s rigid stance on biotechnology will be a big part of the discussion at the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC) annual board of delegates meeting, July 28-30 in Omaha. In this interview with Brownfield, USGC chairman Julius Schaaf of Randolph, Iowa talks about some of those issues, including the latest news that China now...Read the full story... »     
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Republicans on the Senate Agriculture Committee met this week with EPA administrator Gina McCarthy to express their concerns about the agency’s “Waters of the U.S.” proposal and other EPA actions that are viewed as “anti-agriculture”. In his weekly conference call with reporters, Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns talked about the meeting and...Read the full story... »     
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David Oppedahl is a senior business economist in the economic research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Oppedahl conducts research on the agricultural sector and rural development as well as conducting microeconomic research. He also directs the Chicago Federal Reserve District’s survey of agricultural banks on agricultural...Read the full story... »     
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